Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Westlothiana lizziae from the Viséan of East Kirkton, West Lothian, Scotland, and the amniote stem

  • T. R. Smithson (a1), R. L. Carroll (a2), A. L. Panchen (a3) and S. M. Andrews (a4)
Abstract

Westlothiana lizziae is known from the Brigantian of East Kirkton, Scotland. The skull resembles that of later amniotes in the large size of the parietal, the apparent loss of the intertemporal, and the absence of a squamosal notch, palatal fangs and labyrinthine infolding of the marginal teeth, but is primitive in the absence of a transverse flange of the pterygoid. The individual trunk vertebrae resemble those of amniotes; large intercentra are retained, but the neural arch is fused to the centrum. A surprising feature is the presence of 36 presacral vertebrae, as is the relative size of the very small but highly ossified limbs. The humerus is much shorter than the femur, but similar in configuration to that of early amniotes. There are three proximal tarsals as in primitive tetrapods, but an amniote phalangeal count. The presence of massive dorsal as well as ventral scales is a more primitive feature than that of most anthracosaurs.

Westlothiana is ‘reptiliomorph’, and is judged to be a stem-group amniote on features of the skull roof, the absence of an otic notch, the gastrocentrous vertebrae and the pedal phalangeal formula. It has not, however, reached the amniote condition in the structure of the tarsus, and the palate is more primitive than that of both early amniotes and the ‘diadectomorphs’.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Andrews, S. M. & Carroll, R. L. 1991. The order Adelospondyli: Carboniferous lepospondyl amphibians. TRANS R SOC EDINBURGH: EARTH SCI 82, 239–75.
Berman, D. S., Sumida, S. S. & Lombard, R. E. 1992. Reinterpretation of sutural patterns of the temporal and occipital regions in Diadectes and the relationships of diadectomorphs. J PALEONT 66, 499520.
Burke, A. C. & Alberch, P. 1985. The development and homologies of the chelonian carpus and tarsus. J MORPHOL 186, 119–31.
Carroll, R. L. 1964. The earliest reptiles. ZOOL J LINN SOC 45, 6183.
Carroll, R. L. 1969a. A Middle Pennsylvanian captorhinomorph and the interrelationships of primitive reptiles. J PALEONTOL 43, 151–70.
Carroll, R. L. 1969b. Problems of the origin of reptiles. BIOL REV 44, 393432.
Carroll, R. L. 1970a. The ancestory of reptiles. PHILOS TRANS ROY SOC LONDON B257, 267308.
Carroll, R. L. 1970b. Quantitative aspects of the origin of reptiles. FORMA FUNCTIO 3, 165–78.
Carroll, R. L. 1982. Early evolution of reptiles. ANN REV ECOL SYST 13, 87109.
Carroll, R. L. 1991a. The origin of reptiles. In Schultze, H.-P. & Trueb, L. (Eds) Origins of the higher groups of tetrapods: controversy and consensus, 331–53. New York: Cornell University Press.
Carroll, R. L. 1991b. Batropetes from the Lower Permian of Europe—a microsaur not a reptile. J VERT PALEONT 11, 229–42.
Carroll, R. L. & Baird, D. 1968. The Carboniferous amphibian Tuditanus [Eosauravus] and the distinction between microsaurs and reptiles. AM MUS NOVIT 2337, 150.
Carroll, R. L. & Baird, D. 1972. Carboniferous stem-reptiles of the family Romeriidae. BULL MUS COMP ZOOL 143, 321–63.
Carroll, R. L. & Gaskill, P. 1978. The Order Microsauria. MEM AM PHILOS SOC 126, 1211.
Carroll, R. L., Belt, E. S., Dineley, D. L., Baird, D. & McGregor, D. C. 1972. Excursion A59: Vertebrate Paleontology of Eastern Canada. 24TH INT GEOL CONGR MONTREAL 1972, 1113.
Clack, J. A. 1987. Pholiderpeton scutigerum Huxley, an amphibian from the Yorkshire Coal Measures. PHILOS TRANS R SOC LONDON B318, 1107.
Clack, J. A. 1994. Silvanerpeton miripedes, a new anthracosauroid from the Viséan of East Kirkton, West Lothian, Scotland. TRANS R SOC EDINBURGH: EARTH SCI 84, 369376.
Coates, M. I. & Clack, J. A. 1990. Polydactyly in the earliest known tetrapod limbs. NATURE 347, 66–9.
Gregory, J. T. 1965. Microsaurs and the origin of captorhinomorph reptiles. AM ZOOL 5, 277–86.
Heaton, M. J. 1980. The Cotylosauria: a reconsideration of a group of archaic tetrapods. In Panchen, A. L. (Ed.) The terrestrial environment and the origin of land vertebrates, 497551. London: Academic Press.
Heaton, M. J. & Reisz, R. R. 1986. Phylogenetic relationships of captorhinomorph reptiles. CAN J EARTH SCI 23, 402–18.
Holmes, R. 1977. The osteology and musculature of the pectoral limb of small captorhinids. J MORPH 152, 101–40.
Holmes, R. 1980. Proterogyrinus scheelei and the early evolution of the labryinthodont pectoral girdle. In Panchen, A. L. (Ed.) The terrestrial environment and the origin of land vertebrates, 351–76. London: Academic Press.
Holmes, R. 1984. The Carboniferous amphibian Proterogyrinus scheelei Romer and the early evolution of tetrapods. PHILOS TRANS R SOC LONDON B306, 431527.
Holmes, R. 1989. The skull and axial skeleton of the Lower Permian anthracosauroid amphibian Archeria crassidisca Cope. PALAEONTOGRAPHICA A207, 161206.
Jarvik, E. 1980. Basic structure and evolution of vertebrates. Vol. 1. London: Academic Press.
Kemp, T. S. 1980. Origin of mammal-like reptiles. NATURE 283, 378–80.
Lombard, R. E. & Sumida, S. S. 1992. Recent progress in understanding early tetrapods. AMER ZOOL 32, 609–62.
Milner, A. C. 1980. A review of the Nectridea (Amphibia). In Panchen, A. L. (Ed.) The terrestrial environment and the origin of land vertebrates, 377405. London: Academic Press.
Milner, A. R. 1988. The relationships and origin of living amphibians. In Benton, M. J. (Ed.) The phytogeny and classification of the tetrapods. Vol. 1: Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds, 59102. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Milner, A. R., Smithson, T. R., Milner, A. C., Coates, M. I. & Rolfe, W. D. I. 1986. The search for early tetrapods. MOD GEOL 10, 128.
Müller, G. B. & Alberch, P. 1990. Ontogeny of the limb skeleton in Alligator mississippiensis: developmental invariance and change in the evolution of archosaur limbs. J. MORPHOL 203, 151–4.
Olson, E. C. 1962. The family Diadectidae and its bearing on the classification of reptiles. FIELDIANA GEOL 7, 253.
Panchen, A. L. 1970. Teil 5a, Anthracosauria. Handbuch der Paläoherpetologie. Stuttgart: Fischer.
Panchen, A. L. 1972. The interrelationships of the earliest tetrapods. In Joysey, K. A. & Kemp, T. S. (Eds) Studies in vertebrate evolution, 6587. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd.
Panchen, A. L. 1975. A new genus and species of anthracosaur amphibian from the Lower Carboniferous of Scotland and the status of Pholidogaster pisciformis Huxley. PHILOS TRANS R SOC LONDON B269, 581640.
Panchen, A. L. 1977. On Anthracosaurus russelli Huxley (Amphibia: Labyrinthodontia) and the family Anthracosauridae. PHILOS TRANS R SOC LONDON B279, 447512.
Panchen, A. L. 1985. On the amphibian Crassigyrinus scoticus Watson from the Carboniferous of Scotland. PHILOS TRANS R SOC LONDON B309, 505–68.
Panchen, A. L. & Smithson, T. R. 1988. The relationship of the earliest tetrapods. In Benton, M. J. (Ed.). The phytogeny and classification of the tetrapods. Vol. 1. Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds, 132. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Parrington, R. 1958. The problem of the classification of reptiles. ZOOL J LINN SOC 44, 99115.
Patterson, C. & Rosen, D. E. 1977. Review of ichthyodectiform and other Mesozoic teleost fishes and the theory and practice of classifying fossils. BULL AM MUS NAT HIST 158, 81172.
Peabody, F. E. 1951. The origin of the astragalus of reptiles. EVOLUTION 5, 339–44.
Reisz, R. R. 1972. Pelycosaurian reptiles from the Middle Pennsylvanian of North America. BULL MUS COMP ZOOL HARVARD 144, 2762.
Reisz, R. R. 1980. The Pelycosauria: a review of phylogenetic relationships. In Panchen, A. L. (Ed.) The terrestrial environment and the origin of land vertebrates, 553–91. London: Academic Press.
Reisz, R. R. 1981. A diapsid reptile from the Pennsylvanian of Kansas. SPEC PUB MUS NAT HIST UNIV KANSAS 7, 174.
Rieppel, O. 1993. Studies on skeleton formation in reptiles. IV. The homology of the reptilian (amniote) astragalus revisited. J VERT PALEON 13, 3147.
Rolfe, W. D. I., Durant, G. P., Baird, W. J., Chaplin, C., Paton, R. L. & Reekie, R. J. 1994. The East Kirkton Limestone, Viséan, West Lothian, Scotland: introduction and stratigraphy, TRANS R SOC EDINBURGH: EARTH SCI 84, 177188.
Romer, A. S. 1967. Early reptilian evolution re-viewed. EVOLUTION 21, 821–33.
Romer, A. S. & Byrne, . 1931. The pes of Diadectes: notes on a primitive limb. PALAEOBIOLOGICA 4, 2448.
Romer, A. S. & Price, L. I. 1940. Review of the Pelycosauria. SPEC PAP GEOL SOC AM 28, 1538.
Shubin, N. H. & Alberch, P. 1986. A morphogenic approach to the origin and basic organisation of the tetrapod limb. EVOL BIOL 20, 319387.
Smithson, T. R. 1985. The morphology and relationships of the Carboniferous amphibian Eoherpeton watsoni Panchen. ZOOL J LINN SOC 85, 317410.
Smithson, T. R. 1989. The earliest known reptile. NATURE 314, 676–8.
Smithson, T. R. 1994. Eldeceeon rolfei, a new reptiliomorph from the Viséan of East Kirkton, West Lothian, Scotland. TRANS R SOC EDINBURGH: EARTH SCI 84, 377382.
Smithson, T. R. & Rolfe, W. D. I. 1990. Westlothiana gen nov.: naming the earliest known reptile. SCOTT J GEOL 26, 137–38.
Sumida, S. S., Lombard, R. E. & Berman, D. S. 1992. Morphology of the atlas axis complex of the late Paleozoic tetrapod suborders Diadectomorpha and Seymouriamorpha. PHILOS TRANS R SOC LONDON B336, 259–73.
Watson, D. M. S. 1914. Procolophon trigoniceps, a cotylosaurian reptile from South Africa. PROC ZOOL SOC LONDON 1914, 735–47.
Watson, D. M. S. 1917. A sketch classification of the pre-Jurassic tetrapod vertebrates. PROC ZOOL SOC LONDON 1917, 167–86.
Watson, D. M. S. 1919. The structure, evolution and origin of the Amphibia—The ‘Orders’ Rachitomi and Stereospondyli. PHIL TRANS R SOC LONDON B209, 173.
Watson, D. M. S. 1926. The evolution and origin of the Amphibia. PHIL TRANS R SOC LONDON B214, 189257.
Watson, D. M. S. 1951. Paleontology and modern biology. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Watson, D. M. S. 1954. On Bolosaurus and the origin and classification of reptiles. BULL MUS COMP ZOOL HARVARD 111, 297449.
Wellstead, C. F. 1982. A Lower Carboniferous aistopod amphibian from Scotland. PALAEONTOLOGY 25, 193208.
Wellstead, C. F. 1991. Taxonomic revision of the Lysorophia, Permo-Carboniferous lepospondyl amphibians. BULL AM MUS NAT HIST 209, 190.
White, T. E. 1939. Osteology of Seymouria baylorensis Broili. BULL MUS COMP ZOOL HARVARD 85, 323410.
Williston, S. W. 1908. The oldest known reptile, Isodectes punctulatus Cope. J GEOL 16, 395400.
Wood, S. P., Panchen, A. L. & Smithson, T. R. 1985. A terrestrial fauna from the Scottish Lower Carboniferous. NATURE 314, 355–6.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of The Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • ISSN: 1755-6910
  • EISSN: 1755-6929
  • URL: /core/journals/earth-and-environmental-science-transactions-of-royal-society-of-edinburgh
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed